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Thread: .41 Swiss success

  1. #1
    Boolit Man

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    .41 Swiss success

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    I have been shooting Swiss Vetterli's (M78 and M69) for a couple of years now. Both of my rifles shoot very well but I could never quite get that perfect 5 shot group, there was always a flyer or vertical string that ruined it. My brass is formed from .348, some was new, some was old brass used for 50-70, and the lengths varied. I made a trimmer on my lathe (a scaled copy of the WFT from Little Crow) and got it all to the same length, I also annealed all the brass. I loaded up my standard load of 18 grains of Alliant 2400, a modified Lee 310 grain bullet (reamed the mold to get rid of the gas check shank), home-made lube, sized to .431, and a CCI LRP 200. I also use a home made M-Die to expand the case mouth. I fired one fowling shot through the M78, then fired 5 shots on paper at 50yds. When I looked through the spotting scope I had to laugh as it was a one (ragged) hole group although not quite as pretty as I had imagined it, .79". I had a L to R 10sh MPH wind so that will be my excuse for now, will have to try again on a calm day.
    Tom

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Now you have gone and done it! Just as I was going to work with my Swiss 96/11 this summer, you are going to make me dig out the old Vetteri and try again. As I was short of .348 cases I didn't shoot it much, and I never even thought about 50-70 cases, which I have a good supply of. Did you have to trim the rim dia., they seem pretty large compared to the .348. Also, do you think the 50-70 could be left full length , and still chamber with the short Lee bullet? Will be watching for more posts, Jim

  3. #3
    Boolit Man

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    Jim, I was using shortened .348 brass in my 50-70 for years. It was way undersized and the rim was small but it worked. I finally got some starline 50-70 brass a while back then converted my .348/50-70 to .41 Swiss. I think Starline 50-70 would work in the .41, there is a youtube video of someone making .41 Swiss out of 50-110, kind of an expensive route . You might be able to leave a longer neck and shoot a shorter bullet. When I first got the Vetterli I was shooting a 250 grain Keith bullet over Blue Dot that worked well. I think the best and cheapest route to .41 Swiss brass is the 8mm Lebel as .348 is no longer in regular production. The Lee 430-310 bullet works great with or without a gas check.

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    Interesting you mention the 96/11 as one of my other projects is 1911. My best group to date in the pic. .69" at 50 yds. That is a Lasercast 170 gas checked flat nose (30-30) over 19 grains of 2400. I bought the NOE 312299 mold and am working on that bullet in the 1911, a 1917, and a 03A1.

    Tom

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    What's the velocity of that .41 Swiss load ?

  5. #5
    Boolit Man

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    RedneckRob, I haven't chronographed it but is makes a good crack, I would guesstimate 1300-1400 range. I do have a chrono I haven't used in years, I need to get it back in service as I am also doing some 30-06 and 7.5X55 load development.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Here's some reference to fps for the 41 Swiss ... http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...1-Swiss)-loads
    Regards
    John

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Very NICE!... and very interested...

    Could you post more detail - maybe pictures - of your prepared cartridges?

    Particularly interested in your case length, OAL, and how you seat them, and if you crimp them.

    I've been forming from 8mm Lebel, using the lee 310 with GC, but could never get the right combination for reliable results...

  8. #8
    Boolit Man

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    bkb, sorry I fell behind on this thread. I use .348 brass mine is trimmed to 1.635 however 1.64 or 1.65 would actually be a better length. OAL has to be close to 2.2 to feed through the magazine/carrier. I turned my sizer ball down to .425sh (as I was originally sizing bullets .427), I expand the case mouth with a home made M die but was using a .44 mag expander die before I made the M die. When I seat there is little crimp. I load these for a 69/71 and a 78/81 both have different groove diameters (.431 and .427), I size my bullets .431 and they chamber and shoot fine in both rifles. The Vetterli's vary on chamber and groove dimensions my load is a compromise that will fit both.

    The front of the chamber is likely to be tapered/funnel shaped so you have to play with bullet diameter, case length, seating depth etc. that fits the chamber and is 2.2" long. Start with a few cases trimmed a little long (say 1.65sh) and play with bullet diameter, case length, and seating depth. Hopefully you will end up with a bullet a thou or two over groove diameter and a cartridgge that is 2.2" long and will chamber easily.

    When I got my first rifle all I had was some Keith .430 250 grain bullets, they shot fine but the cartridge was a little short. I then bought the Lee 310 mold and they shoot great. I didn't notice any real difference between gas check or no gas check, LLA type lube or my homemade lubrisizer stick lube. I did wind up reaming out the gas check shank in the mold to a plain base just because I wanted to try it and it makes it easier to lube in a lubrisizer without a gas check.

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    I would also add that if you are using Lee dies you need to do a couple modifications to the seating die (there are YouTube vid's on what needs to be done). The short version is that most likely your bullet will not fit into the seating part of the die you will need to hone that out a bit until your bullet will pass through the die body, and the seating plug is too long for the Lee bullet you will need to shorten it to around 1" (mine is .97").

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    Tom
    Last edited by hpbear101; 05-11-2018 at 09:34 PM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check